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271' 7" x 40' x 20' 3"
Built by Kawaminami Kogyo K. K. at Nagasaki during 1940. Commissioned as Hōun Maru. Also spelled Houn Maru in English. Purchased by Toho Kisen K. K. in Osaka as a cargo vessel.
During July 1940 acquired by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) for use as a cargo vessel.
On September 26, 1942 departs Mako as part of convoy no. 167 with Hirotama Maru plus other cargo vessels escorted by Wakatake.
On November 19, 1942 departs Rabaul as part of a convoy with Yamashimo Maru and Shini Maru (Kamoi) escorted by Hakaze. On November 21, 1942 arrives atErventa Harbor (Buin Harbor) on southern Bougainville.
On November 22, 1942 departs Shortland Harbor with Chihaya Maru, Shini Maru (Kamoi) escorted by destroyers Hakaze and Makinami on a transport mission bound for Munda but aborts and returns. On November 24, 1942 again departs Shortland Harbor and later that day arrives at Munda on New Georgia and unloads troops and equipment. On November 25, 1942 departs Munda with Chihaya Maru, Shini Maru (Kamoi) escorted by Makinami and at 4:00pm returns to Shortland Harbor.
On February 7, 1943 departs Saeki as part of convoy A2 (No. 8 Military Movement convoy) with Yahiko Maru, Taiko Maru and Shinno Maru escorted by Nuwajima and CH-39.
On April 16, 1943 at 5:00pm departs Rabaul escorted by CH-30.
On May 19, 1943 off southern Bougainville thirty TBF Avengers from VT-11 and VMSB-143 bombed Houn Maru scoring direct hits on the center of the starboard side that caused flooding. Afterwards, this ship was deliberately run aground at Erventa Harbor (Buin Harbor) on southern Bougainville at roughly Lat 6 48' N, Long 155 49E. Afterwards, the vessel was abandoned as a total loss.
Other sources state Houn Maru ran aground at Tonolei Harbor
NARA VT-11 War Diary 10 October 1942 to 24 September 1943 page 2
"19 May 1943 - Night minelaying strike against Kahili Harbor [Erventa Harbor (Buin Harbor)]"
Although sunk, Houn Maru remained listed in the Lloyd's of London Register until 1945-1946.
Lloyd's Register of Ships 1940-1941 - Houn Maru
Lloyd's Register of Ships 1941-1942 - Houn Maru
Lloyd's Register of Ships 1942-1943 - Houn Maru
Lloyd's Register of Ships 1943-1944 - Houn Maru
Lloyd's Register of Ships 1944-1945 - Houn Maru
Lloyd's Register of Ships 1945-1946 - Houn Maru
Thanks to Minoru Kamada for additional information
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